Friday, August 31, 2012

Oliver, with a Twist

Way back in April, we went on a camping trip to the south Okanagan.  We spent one night in Keremeos, and then the next four nights in Oliver.  They have a community campsite there, right next to the Okanagan River and the Hike and Bike trail.  This photo is taken from the trail, which is paved in this area.  
Last Fall  we weren't able to stay at this campsite, as it had already closed for the season, so we ended a few miles north, in Okanagan Falls.

We had a wonderful time in Oliver.  It is a small town, just under 5000 residents, and about 8000 total in the surrounding area.    
We had taken our bikes, and did a lot of riding around.  The weather was great. 
The main industry is growing fruit or grapes.
You could be in a constant state of happiness, visiting all those wineries.
There's even one called Oliver Twist.

See that dotted line along the river on the map.  That's the trail.  One morning we rode from the campsite which is about 1/3 of the way down the trail, just below that little circle and arrow that says Visitor info.  We rode north to the end at the McIntyre Bridge where Highway 97 crosses the river.  We had taken Jake and Luna with us.  Jake and Luna both rode in the trailer until we were out of the city boundary, a mile or so along, and then they could run off leash.  Luna ran most of it, and Jake rode some of the time.   This is at the north end. 

In the afternoon, we left the dogs in the travel trailer. We crossed the river from the campsite, rode along Black Sage Rd all the way to Rd. 22, where we could see the end of Osoyoos Lake, and then back up the trail to the campsite.  All in all, I figured we biked about 45 km that day.

Road 22 bridge, looking north

These quail were everywhere.

We road past wineries

Tried to dodge a shower of rain

Rode past orchards

We were on our bikes a lot those four days, riding around the town.
This is from the east side of the river, looking southwest over Oliver

This is from the west side of the town, in the evening, from the water tower.  We were part way up that rocky hillside on the very right in the picture above.

Oliver has a small spring fed lake, but it was a bit too early in the season for swimming.  Just across the river from the campsite is an off leash baseball diamond in the park for the dogs. We went there two or three times to play soccer and fetch, and only once did we see anyone else in there.  Apparently the whole park is off leash from  6am to 9am.  The trails either side of the dyke are off leash once you get out of the city boundary.

But, we eventually had to pack up and head home.
Part Two yet to come.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blackberry Time

We are back to black, berries that is.  Time to get the blackberries picked that will carry me through to next season.  Last year we picked 60 gallon ice cream pails full.  Each pail will make 12-13 cups of jam, or about half the amount of jelly.  There were still about 15 buckets left in the freezer by the time this year's crop began ripening.  I'm thankful for small mercies, and will pick quite a few less this year.  At the moment the count is 17 buckets.  Still a long way to go.

This is the time of year my hands seem to be permanently stained.  If I have to go out in public, I usually pour some lemon juice on my hands and rub it around and work it under my nails with a scrubbing brush.  It does help to fade the stains.  

The dogs are gorging themselves on the berries each time we go out to pick.  This leads to copious large black poops:(  We see coyote poop that looks the same, but I'm okay as long as I don't see any bear poop like we did two years ago.  I tried to get a decent picture or two of the dogs picking their own berries, but I failed.  Maybe tomorrow, or the next day, or next week.  The dogs will be eating them for another month at least.  Thank goodness we'll be done picking before then.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Picker's Sky

It just seems like we have finally got into summer, and suddenly Fall is nipping at our heels.  On Saturday morning the alarm went off at 5:30.  I wanted to have enough time to get everything picked and ready for the market, with out my usual last minute crazy mad rush.  The only thing is that now at 5:30, it's just too dark to see what I'm picking.  So a few more minutes of lazing in bed, and finally outside I went.  There were some interesting cloud formations in the sky.  This was about 5:48.  I'm not really one for looking for shapes in the clouds, but looking at this picture later made me think of a herd of elephants, tromping along with trunks held aloft. A couple of elephants seem to have lost their trunks, or maybe the trunks have lost their elephants, but no matter, it's all in the imagination.
Saturday morning was chilly, my right hand was numbing up gathering those cold vegetables.  The vegetables know that Fall is on it's way.  They are slowing down.  There was less to pick, but it takes longer to pick it, so in the end you spend about the same amount of time.  

This morning (Sunday) wasn't as cold.  The Red Sky Rhyme was giving fair warning of the clouds that were forecast to roll in this afternoon, which they did.  
We actually were sort of organized this morning, but even then those few extra minutes seem to get frittered away, and all of a sudden it's a rush again.

It was a good market.  All the vegetables sold except for five bunches of Kale.  Kale sold really fast at the beginning of the year, and now it seems to have eased off.  We'll be having zucchini/kale/onion/whatever else we have to add to it/ stir fries for lunch this week, all sprinkled with parmesan cheese when it's done.  

Luna said it was a tough day at the market.
(This is the first time I've seen her use a toy as a pillow)

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Rover has Landed

  Much to David's relief, his landrover, the British import, finally arrived home today.  It's been sitting at the port in Tacoma for the last 12 days.  Red tape and Union pig headedness has kept it there far longer than David had expected.  Apparently, the powers that be decided that the landrover needed to be washed.  Since it was a farm vehicle, it could be transporting contaminated soil or other debris from Britain to North America.  Now in all honesty, wouldn't it have made much more sense for it to be 'decontaminated' before it ever left British soil.  Apparently it was the luck of the draw as to whether the washing would be required or not, and luck was not with David.  And then the employee's union at the port was not allowing another company to come in to do the washing.  That meant they had to find a bonded carrier to take the landrover from the port to an off-site washing facility.  David was on a first name basis and in daily contact with people in Tacoma.  Whatever they washed the landrover with must have contained gold flakes, considering the exorbitant amount he was charged.  It was finally confirmed yesterday afternoon that the landrover was free to go.

David and Christina left about 5 this morning and arrived back 12 hours later with the landrover on the back of a trailer.  Here it is a few seconds into it's first trip on Canadian pavement.

Kind of cute, and well..... sort of stubby.
 'Stubby', I think that's my nickname for it.

And up the driveway

Checking out all the lights

And all Jake felt was frustration.
All these people standing around, and no one would throw the toy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I think I need some.  I seem to have hit a blogging dry spell.  It's not that I don't have lots to write about, I just got a bit waylaid, and then didn't know where to pick up and get going again, and it just seemed easier to let things slide.  
I saw this story on the news last night. (sorry, you have to watch a commercial first)


Talk about inspiring.  Or maybe it's kind of depressing, comparing this active, gung-ho, fit, 93 year old to how I feel myself.  Remember all that running I did, training for the Sun Run.  Haven't done a run since.  And that is not because I didn't want to.  I had some trouble with my hip and knee a few days before the run. The day of, the hip was okay, and the knee, well I could feel it, but it wasn't painful.  It wasn't painful running on it, but the end result was that I had really messed something up.  I gave it some time,  a lot of time, and it didn't seem to be sorting itself out.  I mentioned it to my chiropractor, who couldn't find anything wrong with the knee, but worked on my hip.  That helped.  The next time I went, I told him it wasn't much better, and I was going to give in and go to the doctors.  He said to go to the physiotherapist instead.  So I did that.  The physiotherapist also determined that the problem was stemming from the hip area.  He gave me some stretches to do.  You know how that goes.  I was a bit hit and miss with those, but they did help quite a bit.  Even though my knee now feels much better when I'm walking on it, I need to get back into that stretching routine so that I can really get it sorted out and get back to running.  I need to keep thinking of Olga.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

They're Watching You!

I bought these at the grocery store the other day.
They are Smelt. They are high in omega 3s.

The poor cashier. She barely touched the package and averted her eyes.
'It's those eyes, I feel like they're watching me' she said.

All part of a dogs breakfast.

Not the dog's first choice, but they all got eaten.

Nelson gave them a sniff and a lick, and then walked away.  That doesn't surprise me.  I really would have been surprised if he'd eaten one.  He always turns his nose up at my raw offerings.

 I might get brave enough to try them myself one day.  Cooked though of course.  I'm not a sushi kind of gal.